Woman Paid Over the Dark Web to Have Her Parents Murdered, Police Say

An Australian woman has been accused of plotting to murder her own parents by paying a contract killer over the dark web.

The 26-year-old allegedly agreed to pay $20,000 for the killings and had already made a payment of $6,000 towards the crime.

The woman, from Canberra in Australia's Capital Territory, made the sinister deal in September but was not arrested until Monday when police seized a computer from her home, the Australian Federal Police said in a statement.

"In October, ACT Policing received a report from an international journalist that a person had made an online payment and shared details about how to target the two people," the statement read.

The journalist, reportedly based in the U.K., was doing a separate inquiry into darknet activities when he noticed the payment, along with details provided to the would-be killer that outlined how they might be able to target the victims.

He subsequently flagged the illicit activity to Australian police.

In a joint operation with international and Australian authorities, the woman's online activity was traced and her bank records were forensically examined to find evidence that a payment had been made.

On Monday, officers arrested the unidentified woman at her Fadden home, where they seized her computer.

Acting Sergeant Beth McMullen described the case as "a very unusual matter."

"We were able to obtain information to suggest that a payment was paid over the dark web," she told reporters on Tuesday. "Police believe the actual site itself is fraudulent, however we needed to be very conscious of the frame of mind of the person who made the payment and what that person might be looking at doing in the future."

McMullen said the intended victims were "very shocked" and "understandably concerned" but confirmed they were safe and unharmed.

"Police will [now] continue to look into the other side of the equation: [that] being the people who are running the site," she said.

Police allege the woman was motivated by financial gain as her parents were prominent business owners in the area.

She was charged with two counts each of attempted murder and inciting murder, one count of burglary and another of theft.

The woman did not apply for bail and will return to court later this month.

Her identity has been suppressed in order to protect her parents' identity.

Newsweek has contacted the Australian Federal Police for comment.

Dark Web
File photo: A computer hacker silhouette's can be seen as an Australian woman is charged for plotting to murder her own parents by paying a contract killer over the dark web. Bill Hinton/Getty